By Anton Mark
Every foot has a band of tissues that connect the heel to the toes. This band of tissues is called a tendon and this particular tendon is called the Plantar Fascia. It is this Plantar Fascia that is one of the most common causes of heel pain the world over. Let’s look at how this happens.
Anything that causes the Plantar Fascia to get weak or swollen inadvertently sets of a chain reaction. This is because the Plantar Fascia supports the arch of the foot. This means that every time you stand and put weight on your foot, you are inadvertently putting weight on the weakened Plantar Fascia. This is what causes pain. This condition is called Plantar Fasciitis.
RUNNING AND THE PLANTAR FASCIA
Did you know that Plantar Fasciitis is also known as ‘Runner’s heel’. This is because almost ten percent of the runners are affected by this condition at some point of time in their careers. This makes the condition quite common.
Your search for answers on the internet will yield a variety of very confusing ideas. Everyone has their own speculations and their own sworn quick fixes. The truth is that there are different approaches which one can use in curing this condition and mixing them up is the best.
Some people suggest resting a bit or reducing the run load. This means a decrease your usual running activity. You will find very few people who say stop it completely. The trick to running with Plantar Fasciitis is how you run and not why you shouldn’t run.
Running Bare Foot or Adding Arch Support?
There are two main trends of thought. One suggests running bare foot. The reasoning behind this claim is that bare foot running helps to strengthen the arch of the foot (the Plantar Fascia). Strengthening of the Plantar Fascia helps to reduce the pain.
The other trend of thought goes in the other direction. It says that the arch of the foot should be supported by special shoes. This helps in resting the arch and thereby helps reduce the inflammation and pain.
As you can see, the base idea of both trends of thought is the same. They seek to strengthen the Plantar Fascia via either rest or by exercise. Many people have found that a combination of both of these methods works best.
This is because continuous exercise is never good. At the same time continuous rest isn’t good either. A mix of the two however can provide the right solution. People who employ this method use shoes that specially designed for flat foot. They use these shoes during the day. They also allocate some time to strengthening the Plantar fascia via running.
The trick to running is to start slowly. Don’t overdo it! Let the process be a gradual increase either in time or in distance. See what works best for you.
Every runners needs to be aware of Plantar Fasciitis. Don’t be disillusioned and think that it cannot happen to you. Plantar Fasciitis doesn’t just hit overweight runners or athletes. It can affect anyone. Knowing the signs of Plantar Fasciitis and how to treat it can help reduce the pain and the uncertainty.